Title: Last Round Arthurs Volume 1
Author: Taro Hitsuji
Genre: Shonen, Fantasy
Publisher: Yen Press
As a kid, there was a time when I was obsessed with King Arthur. A world of knights, magic, and dragons is the perfect fuel for an active imagination, leading to hours of a young Jake pretending to be a knight of the round table. Years later, it seems like creatives can’t seem to stop themselves from adapting this classic tale, and the same is true for anime, manga, and light novels.
Last Round Arthurs brought the world of King Arthur into a tournament-style Japanese setting when the first volume of its light novel was released back in 2018. The series gained a small following in Japan, meaning a manga adaptation was soon to follow.
After seeing dozens of uninteresting King Arthur adaptations, I’ve grown quite callus to them, so I wasn’t expecting much from Last Round Arthurs. Unfortunately, my expectations were met almost to the tee, with the first volume failing to impress in just about every way.
Last Round Arthurs takes place in a world where the story of King Arthur is more than mere myth: it is “undeniable, historical fact.” Centuries after Arthur falls in battle, 11 of his descendants are pitted against one another to decide who will inherit his power.
Rintarou Megami is not one of these descendants, but he was born with the innate ability to be the best at just about everything. With mysterious motivations, he joins forces the weakest descendant, Luna Artur, and begins the battle for King Arthur’s power.
Somehow, Last Round Arthurs does just about everything in its power to create the most generic series I think I’ve ever read. None of the characters, abilities, or even the premise stick out as particularly unique or inspired, all coming together to feel like something I’ve seen a million times before.
I don’t know what it is about modern manga and unlikeable main characters, but it seems like I can’t ever find a cast I can connect with anymore. Last Round Arthurs is no different, introducing the main cast of dull, fool-hearted, and overpowered characters that I can’t get behind. This is only the first volume, however, and it seems like author Tarou Hitsuji may be setting up some interesting backstories, but I certainly wasn’t hooked by the first five chapters.
The series is leading up to be one, big tournament arc. With 11 descendants of King Arthur all vying for power, it won’t be long before we inevitably see Rintarou and Luna make their way through all of them. While the first volume didn’t impress me whatsoever, we haven’t really seen any of the fights yet, meaning there is potential for interesting encounters in the future. The fifth chapter wraps up with one of these fights beginning, and, from what I can tell, it might actually turn out to be entertaining. Only time (and future volumes) will tell.
As far as the art goes, Yuzuriha does a pretty good job in the first volume. While I wasn’t particularly impressed by any one panel or any of the action scenes, I am a huge fan of the way they draw the cast’s cartoony, chibi alternatives. Though Last Round Arthurs’ plot may not impress, at least we have some good art to look at.
With an uninteresting premise and unlikeable characters, Last Round Arthurs’ first volume fails to impress. Everyone knows that tournament arcs are usually some of the best parts of shonen series; however, meaning that there is still hope for the series to improve if its fights are entertaining enough.
While I can’t really recommend Last Round Arthurs to anyone looking for a new, interesting manga, I think it may satisfy fans of big shonen battle arcs in the future. As it is now, however, the first volume just doesn’t do enough with the King Arthur mythos to make it worth picking up.
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